School stars to take on New Zealand

25 elite AFL players from Sydney’s leading Independent schools head across the ditch today for a unique opportunity to test their skills against New Zealand’s top academy players and commemorate Anzac Day.

The group will be based in Auckland for the majority of the six-day tour and play their first game against a New Zealand Academy side on Friday (April 22) at North Harbour Stadium.

The team will play a second match against the New Zealand Academy team on Sunday (April 24) at the same venue.

Click here for the team list and to find out which schools are being represented.

The boys will be exposed to life as a professional footballer with advanced coaching and excellent resources at their disposal such as a strength and conditioning coach, sports masseuse and impressive sports facilities. 

They’ll also take timeout in Rotorua and soak up some of the best attractions and sights Auckland has to offer.

The trip concludes on Anzac Day with an excursion to the major dawn service at the Auckland Domain which attracted 30,000 people last year.

Simon Wilson is travelling with the squad as an assistant coach and says it will be a fantastic experience for all involved.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for 25 boys from 12 different Independent schools across Sydney to tour New Zealand,” Wilson said.

“The boys football will benefit greatly from being involved in an elite football environment.

“They are making history as they’re the first sanctioned AFL NSW/ACT school team to tour internationally.”

The AFL NSW/ACT website will provide a daily blog from the players reflecting on football, activities and sightseeing.

Keep an eye on the AFL NSW/ACT social media pages for photos and match updates.

Find out more on Independent schools’ AFL programs here.